The Tabor College men’s basketball team improved to 2-0 in KCAC play, 3-3 overall by sweeping its first two conference opponents last week.
Sterling—Tabor rolled to an 81-56 win Saturday. The Bluejays shot a blistering 52 percent from the field in the game (32-for-62). Sterling shot 41 percent (21-for-52).
Jonathan Gibson and Davaghndre Jones combined to score Tabor’s first nine points for a 9-4 Bluejay lead, and Tabor extended it to double figures, 21-10, when Julian Winton made a two-pointer.
Winton scored seven of Tabor’s 14 points after that, and the Bluejays enjoyed a 35-24 margin at halftime after Kyle Baker drained a last-second three-pointer.
Gibson and Jones scored the first eight points of the second half for a 43-24 margin, and Tabor led by 20, 51-31, after Tullio Parry drained a three-pointer at the 14:10 mark.
The Warriors closed the gap to 60-49 with 8:15 to play, but Tabor burst to the finish by outscoring Sterling, 21-7.
Alan Urrutia scored all 10 of his points in that stretch, including two threes, to fuel the fire. In the end, Tabor won by 25.
Joining Urrutia in double-digit scoring were: Winton with a game-high 18 points, Gibson 12 and Jones 11.
Bethel—Tabor handed the Threshers their first loss of the season to the tune of 81-71, Thursday.
Coach Micah Ratzlaff credited his defense for being the difference-maker in the game.
“All week we really worked on help-side and being able to guard the entire court the best we possibly can and just be really solid,” he said. “I feel like we did that.
“This is probably the best we’ve played defensively all year.”
While Ratzlaff said his team’s offense left something to be desired, the Bluejays scored enough points to win, despite missing contributing pieces in Cody May and Wesley Harrison, who were benched by injury.
The Bluejays started slowly, scoring just two points in the first five minutes of action. Lance Carter and Kyle Baker later made two treys in a 30-second span, and from there, the Bluejays built a 19-9 advantage midway through the half.
When Bethel drew within four, Julian Winton drained a three-pointer, and Tabor built to its largest lead of the night, 33-20. Bethel closed the gap to 35-28 at halftime.
Tabor’s offensive production improved in the second half as the Bluejays made 16 of 29 attempts from the field after intermission (55 percent) after making 12 of 36 in the first half (33 percent).
Tabor maintained the lead the rest of the way, although the Threshers closed the gap to one, 43-42, at the 14:18 mark.
With Tabor leading by two, 56-54, after a Bethel trey, Baker answered with a three-pointer of his own, which was the start of a 14-5 Bluejay run capped by a Winton trey with 4:23 to go.
The closest Bethel got after that was within four, 72-68. Alan Urrutia scored seven of Tabor’s final nine points, including four at the charity stripe, to help nail down the win.
“(We had) too many turnovers, but there was a lot of energy in that game,” Ratzlaff said. “We were hyped up—and I probably over-hyped our guys—but our effort was really, really good.”
Carter led the Bluejays with 21 points. Winton scored 15, and Baker 11. Jonathan Gibson recorded 13 rebounds to go with his seven points.
Coming—The 10th-ranked Bluejays were scheduled to host 17th-ranked York (2-0, 5-1) Tuesday.
Tabor will then participate in the Hastings Classic, facing Doane Friday at 3 p.m. and Hastings Saturday at 6 p.m. The Bluejays will resume KCAC play by hosting Friends (1-1, 3-4) Dec. 1.